Hasan Piker streams on Twitch to share personal news, gaming, and, most prevalently, his political commentary. “I do not consider myself a journalist, no. I guess you could say I’m a political influencer” he said.
Piker, 29, got his start at The Young Turks, a news and commentary platform founded in part by his uncle Cenk Uyger. Since leaving the media company, Piker has remained in the media-sphere, but under his own terms.
“I broadcast my commentary live on the platform Twitch,” he says. “And that's what I do every day from 11:00am Pacific for the eight hours afterwards.”
Piker’s content follows a now-solidified structure; personal news, political commentary, and finishing with a few hours of gaming. He does this all from the comfort of his own home, using his multi-thousand dollar streaming setup; a chair, a height-adjustable desk, and a streaming-specific computer.
“I grew up wanting to be like John Oliver,” he says. “There's probably a little bit more legitimacy and longevity that comes from becoming an anchor. Certainly there's a lot of protection that comes along with that. But I like doing this.”
Sherrell Dorsey, 34, Founder and CEO of The Plug Daily, a data-driven community and site that “contextualizes the Black innovation economy,” is another trailblazer making waves in the new media landscape.
“Data journalism gives us a way to really look across data sets in a different way,” says Dorsey.
At a time when news coverage is so dependent on social patterns and trends, sites like The Plug have become an essential tool for journalists, tech professionals and news consumers alike.
Dorsey says that Black and brown people don’t have much visibility and representation in this space, so much of the content she and her team create are catered to minority voices.
“Starting The Plug was really a reflection of wanting to see deeper stories as the gig economy was taking off, as there were all these cool tech companies doing these innovative things,” she says.
“I really consider this community of people who want to see black business progress and news in a rigorous way ... and I want us to continue to harness that.”